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Fall Courses and Their Formats

Note: This is dated information and may not reflect the current policies in place on campus. Please refer to We Are WPI for the latest information.

July 22, 2020

The following email was sent to both undergraduate and graduate students:

July 22, 2020

Dear WPI Students,

We continue to find ourselves in the midst of challenging times, and we sincerely hope troubles have been few for you, your families, and your friends.

In preparation for the fall, we’ve been working to adapt our curriculum to respond to the challenges presented by this pandemic. While the health and safety of this community remains our top priority, we’re also committed to providing you with the best possible education through the highest-quality teaching and the most flexible modes of delivery. The TechFlex approach allows us to design classes so that the experience is outstanding whether delivered remotely or in person. This approach also helps the university adhere to state and university guidelines regarding safe social distancing and classroom capacity, and it allows our community to make the choices that are right for them and their circumstances.

We know that you’re eager to gain more insight into how your specific classes will be offered this fall. The Lists of Courses and Their Formats show the basic plan that your faculty has for each course. There are three different categories and here is what each category means:
Online: The course will be fully online with no face-to-face meetings on campus. These classes are accessible to all students, on-campus and remote. Some will have scheduled meeting times (online) and we will work to ensure that students have access across all time zones.
Hybrid: The course will have face-to-face meetings scheduled for students on campus but will also be accessible to fully online students. The details will vary by course, but one example has online lectures with scheduled small-group meetings with faculty and teaching assistants on campus. In another example, the faculty will divide their students into cohorts and hold face-to-face meetings with one cohort while the other cohort participates online.
In-Person: The course has a required on-campus component. Students who do not plan to come to campus will not be able to complete these courses in the fall terms. Most courses in this category have a lab component that cannot be completed away from campus.

While reviewing these lists, please note that many courses are cross-listed and have more than one subject code (for example, AR2101 and IMGD2101 are the same course, 3D Modeling I). Cross-listed courses appear once in the list, in alphabetical order by the first subject code.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of logistics involved with making the necessary adjustments. We are trying to keep your already reserved class meeting times unchanged so that you do not have to rebuild your course schedule. However, there may be cases where times are changed and rebuilding is necessary. We will let you know of any changes, and will work with you to be sure you have the courses you need. We appreciate your continued patience throughout this process.

You will have time to make changes in your schedule before classes begin on August 31. Graduate students can do that at any time. For undergraduate students, we plan to reopen registration on August 17. Academic Advising is already connecting with every member of the class of 2024 to guide them through this process, while our Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors will be able register for their own courses after August 17.

We will send undergraduates a reminder about registration prior to August 17. Until then, please send any questions about the course list to and questions about your particular schedule to your academic advisor or the Office of Academic Advising at

It’s been a long time since we’ve welcomed students to campus, and you have been missed. As a reminder, the Fall Intentions Survey is officially due this Sunday, July 26. Many have already provided their feedback, and the majority tell us they are planning to return to campus. We hope that little glimpse at our near future makes you as happy as it does us.

Wishing you the best,

Art Heinricher
Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Terri A. Camesano
Dean of Graduate Studies